Alghero rises on a promontory overlooking a bay and port in north-western Sardinia. To the north is a wide plain, called Pianura della Nurra, and to the north west Karst mountains, the Capo Caccia, Punta Giglio and Monte Doglia, while to the south there are the plateaus of Villanova Monteleone and Bosa, with water streams that allowed agricultural cultivations. In the last few decades the economy of the place has gradually shifted towards a marked tourist development, thanks to better air and sea routes.
- Population: about 35,000 inhabitants
- Zip/postal codes: 07041
- Dialing Area Code: +39 079
- Frazioni & Localities: Fertilia, Porto Conte
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History - Antiquity
The territory was inhabited in the Neolithic, over 4,000 years BC, by the Nuragic civilization. In the 9th century BC the Phoenicians had in Alghero an important port, then under the Romans it semms to have lost importance.
History - the Middle Ages
The territory was inhabited in the Neolithic, over 4,000 years BC, by the Nuragic civilization. In the 9th century BC the Phoenicians had in Alghero an important port, then under the Romans it semms to have lost importance. In the 11th century AD the Doria family of Geona founded the medieval borough, and because of its strategic position the town was repeatedly attacked in the following centuries, until in 1353 was conquered by the Aragonese led by Catalan Pedro IV. At the time of the Aragonese domination, a Catalan community moved to the place in the year 1354, leaving a deep mark in the culture, language and architecture of the town.
History - Modern Times
In the late 15th century it was under the rule of Eleonora of Arborea and her husband Brancaleone Doria. In 1720 finally it was included in the Kingdom of Sardinia, under Savoy rule. Catalan was replaced as the official language by Spanish in the 17th century, then by Italian. In the 1990s about 60% of the local population still understood spoken Algherese Catalan.
What to see
- The Cathedral of Santa Maria, where Aragonese, gothic and Renaissance influence combine in a very special mix. The belltower has a roof covered with majolica tiles.
- The promenade along the seafront, which follows the ancient spanish fortifications.
- 13 km to the North west, along the road leading to Porto Conte, rises the interesting Nuraghe Palmavera, with 2 typical towers.
- At Capo Conte to the west many grottos in the cliffs, that can be reached from Alghero by boat, among them the Grotta di Nettuno.